What Types of Cancer Are Linked to AFFF Exposure?
Firefighting foam, also known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), is widely used by firefighters and the military to combat flammable liquid fires. AFFF contains dangerous chemicals or toxic substances, including perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
A recent 2023 environmental research on perfluoroalkyl substances indicated that several types of cancer are linked with AFFF exposure. These include testicular cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, and the risks of thyroid disease.
Another two-year-old article by The Guardianand the data published by Bennington College also states that exposure to AFFF chemicals is a host of cancers, developmental disorders, immune dysfunction, and infertility. Additionally, exposure to AFFF aggravates Covid-19 infections and weakens the vaccine efficacy.
However, the connection between AFFF exposure and cancer is a subject of ongoing research and legal battles. For this purpose, you can file AFFF lawsuits against firefighting foam manufacturers. In this blog, we will explore what AFFF is and its widespread applications, potential health risks, and, specifically, the types of cancer associated with Afff exposure.
What Types of Cancer Can Potentially Result From Afff Exposure?
Studies have identified certain types of cancers that may be more likely to occur in individuals exposed to AFFF. These may include:
- Bladder Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Rectal Cancer
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal or Kidney cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Neuroendocrine tumors
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid Disease and Cancer
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is a type of firefighting foam widely used for several decades in various settings, such as:
- Military and Navy firefighting
- Shore facility
- Fire suppression systems
- Firefighting vehicles
- Fire training facilities
Likewise, its unique properties suppress combustible liquid fires, such as oil, gasoline, and jet fuel fires. In addition, firefighting foam also contains a higher class of environmentally persistent chemicals, for example:
AFFF was first developed by the United States Navy’s Naval Research Laboratory in the early 1960s as a more efficient and versatile firefighting agent. Certainly, its invention was a significant advancement in fire suppression technology.
Furthermore, AFFF was formulated to create a stable and durable film on the surface of hydrocarbon-based liquid fires to smother and extinguish the flames more effectively. Therefore, the foam’s ability to separate the fuel from the oxygen source proved valuable in extinguishing large-scale fires.
What Are the Applications of Afff?
AFFF has various applications due to its recognized effectiveness, making it a good foam for fire departments and organizations worldwide exposed to firefighting foam. Therefore, here are some of the possible applications of AFFF:
AFFF is helpful in various firefighting settings, including:
- Industrial facilities
- Military bases
- In firefighting operations
The military extensively uses AFFF for:
- Aircraft hangars
- Shipboard firefighting systems
- Military training exercises
- In protecting military assets
- Ensuring the safety of service members
In Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry uses Afff as a preventive measure against fires and a reliable emergency tool in various settings such as:
- Refineries where flammable hydrocarbon fuels are stored, processed, or transported
- Petroleum storage terminals
- Offshore drilling platforms
In addition to firefighting and military applications, civilians use AFFF in settings that involve:
- Fuel storage depots
- Chemical plants
- Power generation facilities
- In safeguarding critical infrastructure
- To minimize the risk of fire-related accidents
What Is the Link Between Afff and Cancer?
Research studies and investigations have suggested a possible link between AFFF exposure and various types of cancer. AFFF contains toxic PFAS and PFOA chemicals known for their persistence in the environment and bioaccumulative properties.
The research on U.S. adults residing near contaminated water districts shows the detection of PFOA compounds in the blood of individuals who developed cancer. For this purpose, researchers experimented on the blood of 32,245 participants, and among them, 2,507 individuals reported 21 different cancer types. Moreover, in another study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also classified certain types of PFAS as potentially carcinogenic chemicals.
However, some studies have found higher incidence rates of certain cancers among individuals with occupational or environmental exposure to AFFF.
What Are the Other Potential Health Risks of Firefighting Foam?
Exposure to AFFF raises concerns about other potential health risks, mainly due to the presence of PFAS chemicals. In some studies, PFAS chemicals cause an increased risk of breast cancer, liver cancer, thyroid disease, and ulcerative colitis. Besides, another study shows positive evidence of PFAS chemicals increasing oxidative stress, suppressing the immune system, and modulating receptor-mediated effects.
Similarly, suggestive evidence indicates that some PFAS can induce epigenetic alterations and influence cell proliferation.
Other than this, a massive number of studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also determined other health risks associated with PFAS from Afff exposure, such as:
- High cholesterol levels
- Reduced vaccine response in children
- Mutations in liver enzymes
- High risk of blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant females
- A slight decrease in infant birth weight
- Immune suppression
Who Is Eligible to File An AFFF Cancer Lawsuit?
If you believe you are diagnosed with cancer from exposure to Afff foam during your firefighting duties. In that case, you are eligible to file a firefighter cancer lawsuit. Nonetheless, you can file a lawsuit for lung cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, and other types of cancer.
However, it is recommended to consult an attorney specializing in firefighter cancer lawsuits. Your lawyer will determine if you have a viable case. This way, you can seek fair compensation for your diagnoses, medical bills, and emotional distress.
How Can You Determine AFFF Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?
Determining your Afff lawsuit settlement amounts involves several factors that you have to take into consideration. These factors include:
- Severity of the illness
- Impact of the illness on the quality of life
- Extent of the medical expenses
- Loss of income or earning capacity
- Degree of liability on the defendants
Furthermore, a firefighting foam attorney’s negotiation skills can influence settlement amounts in such cases. However, the specific details of each case will also play a significant role in determining the Afff lawsuit settlement amounts.
What Steps Should You Take in the Firefighter Cancer Lawsuit Process?
The process of pursuing a firefighter cancer lawsuit can be complex if you are considering legal action to seek justice, but here are several essential steps you should consider:
- Consult With an Attorney
Seek legal advice from an experienced afff attorney specializing in firefighter cancer lawsuits. As a result, they can determine the strength of your case and help you navigate the legal process.
- Gather Evidence
Collect any relevant documentation, including medical records, diagnosis reports, employment history, and any records or proof of exposure to AFFF or firefighting foam.
- File a Complaint
Your firefighting foam attorney will help you prepare and file a formal complaint against the defendant parties you believe are responsible for your cancer illness. Hence, this crucial step marks the beginning of the firefighter cancer lawsuit process.
- Litigation and Negotiation
The firefighter cancer lawsuit may proceed to litigation, involving court hearings and potentially a trial. However, parties often resolve these lawsuits through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or settlement conferences.
- Settlement or Trial
You can accept and resolve the case if the defendant party offers a fair Afff lawsuit settlement amount. Despite that, if the parties cannot reach an acceptable settlement, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
Consult Uptown Injury for Your Firefighter Cancer Lawsuit
If you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer and exposure to AFFF may be the cause. In that case, seeking the guidance of legal professionals specializing in firefighter cancer lawsuits is essential.
At Uptown Injury, we understand the legal complexities of firefighter cancer lawsuits and the challenges faced by individuals seeking justice. In addition, our experienced team of firefighting foam attorneys has fifteen years of experience in handling personal injury, product liability, toxic tort, and medical malpractice cases. So you can rest assured your case is in good hands.
Which Types of Cancer Are Associated With AFFF Exposure?
The following types of cancer are associated with AFFF exposure, such as kidney cancer, testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, and certain types of lymphoma.
How Does AFFF Exposure Contribute to Cancer Development?
AFFF contains perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as toxic and forever chemicals. Thus, prolonged exposure to PFAS compounds in AFFF can contribute to cancer development.
Are There Any Other Health Risks Linked to AFFF Exposure?
Besides cancer, AFFF exposure can also cause other health issues, such as hormonal disruptions, liver damage, and suppression of the immune system.
Who Is at Risk of Developing Cancer and Eligible for Filing Firefighter Cancer Lawsuits?
Firefighters, U.S. military members, airport workers, and Federal Aviation Administration workers exposed to AFFF are at risk of developing cancer. Furthermore, they are eligible to file firefighter cancer lawsuits.
Who Are the Defendants in Firefighting Foam Cancer Lawsuits?
The defendants in firefighting cancer lawsuits are often the manufacturers of AFFF, such as 3M, DuPont, the Chemours Company, Kidde-Fenwal, Chubb National Foam, and Clariant AG. While the list is not exhaustive, these companies are held responsible for the alleged connection between AFFF exposure and cancer in individuals.
How Can I Limit My Exposure to AFFF?
To minimize exposure to AFFF, following proper handling and disposal procedures for firefighting foams is essential. Therefore, you must use personal protective equipment and adhere to safety protocols when using AFFF.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Afff Exposure-Related Health Issues?
If you suspect you are exposed to AFFF and experiencing health issues, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and guidance.
Are There Any Regulations or Guidelines in Place Regarding AFFF Use?
Regulatory agencies and organizations have implemented guidelines and restrictions on using AFFF-containing PFAS compounds to reduce environmental contamination and potential health risks.